How do you handle sentimental assets in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Divorce

There are a lot of financial decisions that have to be made during the divorce process. You’ll have to separate out individually owned assets from those that are marital in nature, and you’ll want to make sure you’re fighting for your fair share of the marital estate. You might also have to pay attention to issues such as alimony and child support, both of which can help set your financial stage for several years post-divorce.

But money isn’t everything in divorce. In fact, as you navigate your marriage dissolution, you might find yourself particularly worried about some assets that carry a significant amount of sentimental value. How should you position yourself to deal with these?

Strategies for addressing assets with sentimental value

Sentimental assets can take many forms. Sometimes they’re something as simple as family photographs, but other times they include things like jewelry, furniture and collectible items. Sometimes, these assets carry significant actual value, other times they don’t. Either way, if you want to keep sentimental assets once your divorce is finalized, you need to have a strategy going into your settlement negotiations.

Here are a few ways that you can address these assets in your marriage dissolution:

  • Reproduce sentimental assets: If you can, you should try to make copies of the sentimental assets in question. This can be done with photographs, of course, but you might also be able to make copies of things like letters. That may not rise to the level of the original, but it’s at least an option that you can discuss with your spouse.
  • Negotiation without giving away your intent: Although you might be driven to fight for a sentimental asset, giving away your intent could result in your spouse using that asset against you by requesting far more than you were originally willing to give. Therefore, while you’ll want to make a request for a sentimental asset, you shouldn’t telegraph just how badly you want it.
  • Don’t use sentimental assets to hurt your spouse: Although sentimental assets can be the focus of negotiations during your divorce, you shouldn’t use these assets simply to hurt your spouse. You’ll find a more fair and reasonable resolution if you focus on finding common ground with your spouse.
  • Be prepared to litigate: If you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement on how to divide sentimental assets, you’ll need to be prepared to litigate over them in court. This can be difficult to do, but as you prepare your arguments, you might want to consider whether the asset in question is more directly tied to you than it is to your spouse, such as when the sentimental asset is from your parents, relates to your hobby or is tied to some experience that you alone had. If you can link the asset more directly to you, you’ll increase your likelihood of being awarded the asset.

Developing the holistic divorce strategy that you need

You have a lot to contemplate as you navigate your divorce. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have a holistic strategy going into your case. Although that can be stressful, you might be able to help alleviate that burden by securing the help of a competent legal professional.

With an attorney on your side who knows how to navigate these complex issues, you might position yourself for the successful outcome that you need. Therefore, if you’re ready to start building your divorce strategy, you should consider avoiding delay in contacting the legal professional that you think will zealously advocate on your behalf.